So my uncle, Odie, passed at the weekend. He was 84, a life well lived. He was a baker, a fisherman, a businessman, a publician, a hotelier.
He and his brothers and sisters, 8 others, grew up in Waterville. His father, Michael, set up an export business in 1939 (great timing!) exporting lobsters and other shellfish. Michael had trained as a cobbler, set up as a baker, became a hotelier and a business man. They exported these shellfish round europe till the 1980s, airfreighting them from Shannon from the 1950s (where another uncle Joe had been deeply involved in setting up the hotel school and claims to have been present at the birth of Irish Coffee…)
These were hardy men, the Lucey boys, who would work (hotelier, garage man, baker etc) all day then head off to places like Kilmore Quay or Blacksod bay, load up with lobsters and crayfish, drive back, unload, then go to bed. Imagine driving the length and breath of Ireland in the 1950s on dreadful roads and deathtrap lorries. At the risk of channeling monty python “we were lucky”. When we drive a few hours on a motorway and then whinge imagine 9h in a lorry without effective suspension over rutted roads, then working in hip deep water, loading a ton of shellfish and water, then do it in reverse. People worked hard for little and got arthritis and low pay for their pains.
Lucey and Sons airfreighted in the 1950s, it innovated in the 1960’s with new shellfish products and mixes of fresh/cooked shellfish, it faltered in the 70s and expired in the 80s. Such is the typical fate of family businesses – they grow, they prosper, not all pass to another generation.
Below some newspaper clippings on same.

Passing of a generation
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